Stating that secularism is in the DNA of all Indians, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said that despite “negative propaganda carried out by some that freedom is in danger, secularism is safe in India”.
Speaking at the 64th national convention of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the students’ wing of the RSS, here, the Vice-President said, “Some people here and there are carrying out a negative propaganda that freedom is in danger in India. Some people also complain about secularism being in danger. Secularism is safe in India not because of some politicians, not because of the government, not because of the Opposition (parties), but secularism is a part of the DNA of all Indians.”
Stating that “India is the most democratic country in the entire world”, Naidu said,” Our attitude, our approach, our culture is also of tolerance, the core value and philosophy of our country.”
“There is a debate going on what is nationalism and patriotism. Some people are trying to portray it in a negative sense. Kuch majak udane ka prayaas kar rahe hain (Some are trying to make fun of patriotism)… Bharat Mata Ki Jai, Vande Matram, Jai Ho Bharat, Bharat Mahaan Hai. But what is Bharat (India). It is not merely a geographical entity. All Indians are one irrespective of the caste, creed or religion. We should not discriminate any citizen on any basis.
Indians are one, one nation, one religion, one country. Youth are the future of any nation and they must work towards shaping India that is free of hunger, discrimination and inequalities based on caste, creed and gender,” he added.
Telling the ABVP that it is its responsibility to “instill feeling of nation first” among youths, the Vice-President asked them to actively participate in “nation’s development”. “Members should also carry out relief activities during natural calamities. Youths must be trained in relief activities and skill development programmes so that their services could be utilised to supplement the efforts of government agencies. Today, the challenges faced by the country, like regionalism, casteism and negative propaganda, are misleading the people, and this is responsibility of the ABVP to instill the feeling of nation first among the youth. This should be our agenda and aim,” Naidu said.
Recalling a yesteryear’s conversation with senior BJP leader L K Advani, Naidu said: “Advaniji would tell me when I was in politics that more than the ideology, ideal behaviour is important. Looking at your behaviour, people would conclude about the organisation. Now, there are some forces that are encouraging indiscipline. Out of over 800 universities, some seven to eight are in the news for wrong reasons. I would advise you to follow discipline, dedication and devotion. Acquire more knowledge as we are leading in a more competitive world, and be a responsible citizen.”
Stating that there should be willingness to change with time, the Vice-President said, “I remember as an ABVP member years ago when computers were to be introduced in the country in the banking sector, our slogan was “automation, anti-nation”. But today, you have to think about the technological advancement and the changes taking place world wide. But at the same time, remember our culture and heritage. We should be proud of being Indian. No country that forgets its culture and history can make any progress, that is the history of the world.”
The Vice-President also called for having a “re-look” of school texbooks and education system. “Some people are influenced by Western culture and traditions. They are influenced by foreign philosophy, they are trying to undermine the importance of the culture of this country. Our textbooks and the education system need to be re-looked to see that we bring in the true history and our ancient culture,” he added.
The Vice-President also presented an award to a government school teacher from rajasthan, Sandeep Joshi.